How to stay awake when you’re overworked

When you have a pile of work in front of you and you feel like you haven’t slept in a week, it’s time for some strategies to keep your energy level up. Red Bull and other caffeine-laden energy drinks might be okay once in a while, but they can lead to a cycle. Sometimes you get a jolt of energy, but when it wears off and you’re not finished working yet, you need more. This causes a reduction of quality sleep time and then can cause excessive sleepiness the next day. Then what do you do… of course, you take some more caffeine to get you through the day.

I have some more natural ideas:

1. Take a short walk. It’s best if you can get outside for a bit. Just walk to the end of the block or even around your own yard. Take five minutes and pull some weeds while you’re out there. An occasional change of activity will do wonders for your stamina.

2. Take a short nap. “Short” being the key word here. No less than five minutes and no more than 25 minutes. If it’s close to bedtime, keep it short. Set an alarm to make sure you don’t nap too long.

3. If your work causes you to be staring at a computer for long periods, give your eyes a break. Rub your hands together for a minute and place your palms over your closed eyes and just rest your head in your hands like that for a bit. While resting there, try taking some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose into your abdomen rather than your chest. Then breathe out through your mouth. Do that five or six times. If your eyes feel a bit dry, try some soothing eye drops. You’ll see a little clearer afterwards and the short rest will do you good.

4. Try a little healthy snack break. Nothing sugary; that will just give you a short lift and a heavy crash. Try something like peanut butter on whole wheat crackers or with apple slices, yogurt and fresh fruit and nuts or fresh cut up veggies with a low fat dip.

5. Try making the room brighter and cooler.

6. Always remember to drink plenty of water. Dehydration will cause fatigue.

7. Last but not least is my personal favorite. I have a small jogging trampoline that I put in front of my TV. When I feel the fatigue getting the best of me, I get on the trampoline, turn on the TV and spend anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes jogging while watching something to take my mind off of my work. It’s great for weight loss, cardiovascular health and definitely chases away the cobwebs in my head.

I hope some of these tips are helpful for you. They’ve worked for me in the past and continue to do so. At least till we can get around to that wonderful vacation cruise or mountain retreat we’re dreaming about…

Anyone else have any good anti-fatigue strategies that have worked well for you?

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